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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

That is so wrong. I am saddened by the fact that ABs can book the cabins for disabled passengers. I am shocked to see how scummy people can be.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old March 8th, 2004, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Just call me an exhibitionist. When I see my rehab doc every year or so I type up a very "proper" looking document explaining my quadriplegia, the doubt that it will go away on its own anytime soon, need for accessible rooms and bathrooms and the size of my wheelchair. I then print off a dozen or so and he stamps and signs each. I date them as needed. I use these with my TA, who while she cannot upgrade us often fills our cabin with wonderful treats and coupons. These also work when going to concerts or the last time we were in NYC the circus at Madison Square Garden. At $5 a seat I was not about to argue about degree of my privacy rights. In Washinton DC my poor husband had to sit uncomfortably close to Madonna's speakers while I was doing a true chair dance. It's a trade off.

BTW, is it possible that Costa could have possibly placed their HP cabins in worse places?
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I just booked a disabled cabin on the Elation. I am travelling alone and am renting a scooter for on board--I have my own chair, but only use it for malls and long distances--(when I am with others)--it is manual. I use a forearm crutch and am hoping that I will be having "good days" on the ship so that I will not need the scooter--but I will have it "just in case."

I have had people yell obsceneties at me, stare, etc. when I park in a handicap parking place (I have a license plate). I have learned to just smile sweetly at them and go on my way........I feel they are so much more handicapped than I!

BTW--Carnival did send me an information sheet to fill out! No doctor required--
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old April 25th, 2004, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I, too am handicapped, although to see me out on deck, you would never know. I am not in a wheelchair, on a cane or other assistive device, as I have an artificial limb. On two of the cruises I was told I could not have an accessible cabin, one because they said my type of handicap did not qualify, and the other because they were sold out. I need the room because I have fallen twice in a cabin , while not wearing my limb, when I was trying to hop over the lip to enter the restroom. Please do not assume that just because someone looks able-bodied and is coming out of the handicapped room that there is no handicap.

Just my 4 cents.

Bill

Post Edited (06-19-04 15:45)
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old July 11th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

This is very interesting.
Let me add my opinion.
First, I am disabled and the owner of www.audacitymagazine.com It is a magazine for disabled people.
Secondly, I like those people that scream names at people who Dont Look disabled. I think it helps put shame to those who are abusing the parking space.
Thirdly, I use a wheelchair and I believe that the disabled cabins are there for the space provided for wheelchairs, scooters, canes, walkers and crutches. If the person's disability is invisible then they don't need the space. If someone like my friend who has MS has good and bad days, she takes her wheelchair and leaves it in the cabin until she needs it. But she asks for a disabled room because of the wheelchair. Not because she has MS but because she has MS that requires a wheelchair.
Some people stated that they like the bars in the showers well ALL bathrooms should have that as a safety precaution on a cruise ship.
That doesn't cost as much as making every room larger.
I think it is absolutely shameful just shameful for anyone ANYONE to ask for a bigger room that is set aside for disabled people who NEED THE SPACE just because they want the space.
Ok I am going to go practice my breathing *in* *out* *in* *out*
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old July 11th, 2004, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Natasha,

I really don't care about the added space, but rather the fact that I can go in to the restroom in my own cabin without falling over the lip between the restroom and the rest of the cabin.

I guess I really have a problem with people, like you, who have no right to judge me or my medical needs assuming that just because I am not on an assistive device or in a chair, that I do not need a handicapped accessible cabin.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2004, 02:56 PM
seawench
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Nathasha,

I am surprised at your attitude!
People with "invisible" disabilities are just as disabled [and covered by the ADA] as those who ride in scooters or wheelchairs!

My husband has MS. When it was in its early stages, he did not use an assistive devices. But he had a handicapped parking placard & used the spaces. Why? Because he got tired very easily. He didn't have the strength to walk from the far end of the mall parking lot.
Now he is in a wheelchair - he no longer walks at all.
But he understands, whenever he sees a person who doesn't appear handicapped parking in one of those blue spaces, that it very likely is a person with an invisible handicap!

There are plenty of other instances where you'd be so wrong to criticize ...
For instance, when my husband and I go shopping at the mall, often I am overwhelmed with all the packages -- he can't carry any.
So I'll run out to the van and throw them in the truck.
If you saw me - obviously able-bodied, throwing packages into my van parked in a blue space - would you yell at me???

As far as handicap-accessible rooms on cruise ships, we have been closed out of several cruises because those rooms are booked ... and I have to hope that those who booked the rooms truly needed them.
From what I've seen posted on some message boards, people try to book those rooms b/c they are big -- and for no other reason.

Now that's wrong!
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old July 24th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I agree with you! My husband also has MS..and I think all of us who live with people with disabilities have a hard enough time ..I think all of us need to learn a little more patience. Our society needs to kick it down a notch! Take time to know each other and not be so negative..isn't there enough of that in this world?! My husband and I try to educate people whereever we go about MS. Very rarely do we encounter rude people.Maybe because we live in the Midwest!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old July 25th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins


I, too, am surprised that you condone yelling at people. I have lupus, NF-type 1, Arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. The type of assistive devise I use (or not) varies from day to day (and sometimes hour to hour.) I may go into a store just fine and have to leave half-way through my shopping because I "wore out." I own and sometimes use forearm crutches, WC, canes.....it just depends on my needs at the moment. When I am not using a device, I look like everyone else (except for a slight limp and listing to the right at times.) I don't need the unpleasantness of someone who has no idea of my conditions cussing at me or calling me names!
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old January 26th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I use a wheelchair all the time. I am not able to walk AT ALL. Now, with that said, I didn't have to produce ANY documentation for either of the 2 cruises I've taken (one on Celebrity and one on RCC). I suppose it could be that I went through a TA and it's obvious I'm disabled and perhaps this particular TA has a good rep with the cuiselines. I don't know, all I DO know is I've never had a problem attaining a HA room. One time, however, we wanted to take a cruise, but all the HA rooms were taken. So, I agree with the earlier statements that they need more cabins with HA. One thing I would like is to be able to access a larger suite! The largest suite you can get is the Jr. Suite on Mariner with RCC. I saw some of the larger suites as I drove by the rooms and they have all sorts of amenities that I would like access too. Yes, it would cost more, but it seems to me if I'm willing to pay the extra price, I should be able to have access to the room. All it would require is that they make the bathroom HA. The rooms themselves are big enough to begin with! My big question is this.... why don't they just make ALL the rooms HA? Think about it. In about 10 - 15 years from now, the US population will consist of more elderly people than ever. Many of these senior citizens will needs HA rooms. In addition, handrails should be standard in ANY ship bathroom, as those things can rock a lot, and on a wet floor..... you might just end up on your butt! I don't personally require a handrail, but I still think it's a good idea. If I owned a cruise line, I would built the next ship with HA rooms for everyone. Admittedly, not everyone needs it, but hey, then there wouldn't be a shortage, documentation wouldn't be necessary (which, in the US requiring documentation is actually going against HIPPA....something that hasn't been mentioned at all!) and everyone would be happy! I think it's a great idea... now, who wants to give me the money to start my own cruise line??? HEHEHE!
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old January 26th, 2005, 10:18 PM
Candy Harrington
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

They don't make all of the staterooms accessible because of the floorspace it would require. To have a truly wheelchair-accessible room you need good pathway access in the room and a full 5 foot turning radius in the bathroom (along with other features that can add to the cost of construction.). So if all the staterooms were truly accessible there would be fewer of them and the cruise lines would not be able to make a profit on the some of the bargain prices they are charging today.

And HIPPA only applies to the portability of health insurance. It has nothing to do with travel or cruise ships.

I also donít condone yelling at people. For one thing, I think itís very childish. Second, like other folks pointed out, you never kno w what issues somebody who has an invisible disability may have. And last but not least, it gives the mainstream (AB) population a bad impression of wc-users. They may think they are *all* like that -- and truly they arenít. It just creates a bad reputation.

Candy Harrington
Editor, Emerging Horizons
http://www.EmergingHorizons.com -- the only magazine about accessible travel
Read my blog -- www.emergingHorizons.com/blog
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old January 27th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I wasn't yelling. I was simply saying it would be totally cool if the entire ship were HA. Ok, maybe it isn't practical, but I never said it would be. I was simply making the point that in the fairly near future, there will be such a large number of people require HA rooms, they will end up turning away a fairly decent percentage of their customer base. It's just my opinion. I never once yelled. In fact, I was in a very fun mood when I wrote it. Lighten up! This is just a simple discussion about frustrations people are having with trying to get a room when there are only 4 available on an entire ship that is capable of holding over 1200 people. On a side note, today, I also learned from my TA that the newest ships being made will hold over 4000 passengers. As far as HIPAA is concerned it may be relevent to insurance, but if you are using insurance provided through the cruise line, then it would violate that insurance policy to ask any specific questions about the disability. In other words, you can ask what needs need met, but you can't require a specific diagnosis. According to the 2000 US Census, appx 11% of the current US population has a disability that limits basic physical activity such as walking or can't meet their own basic needs. Now, compounding that with the fact that population of those over 65 went up 12% since 1990, and considering this trend will likely continue, then it's just a matter of time before the need for more rooms with HA be available. In a dream world the entire cruise ship will meet everyone's needs withour requiring specific details about one's specific needs. If a cruise line's goal is to do nothing but make money, then there WILL come a time when offering discounted rates won't provide them the monies needed to maintain the sheer size of ships that are out there. Perhaps, just perhaps, it would be a benefit to offer things to those who are willing to pay a little extra just to not have to deal with a million stupid frustrations. I'm not a business guru, and I certainly don't have enough money to start my own cruise line, but I was simply bringing forth the obvious issues that will be coming forth in the near future. And, again, I'm not yelling.... never have. Cheer up! It's cruising we're all interested in. All we're trying to do is make it a better experience than it already is! :0)
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old January 27th, 2005, 11:16 PM
Candy Harrington
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Default Re: Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

First off, when I said I don't condone yelling I was responding to Natasha's remark:

She said,
"Secondly, I like those people that scream names at people who Donít Look disabled"

I felt this was childish. I was not responding to anything you said jennincincy .

Second, I do think this is a fun topic (travel) after all it is my life. I don't believe I need to "cheer up". I'm cheery enough, thank you. Ask anyone.

Third, I still don't think HIPPA applies to any type of travel or trip interruption insurance. Remember, some trip interruption insurance does exclude pre-existing conditions. The cruise lines do not offer the travel insurance -- it is offered by other companies.

And yes, I'm very much aware of all the statistics and the projections. Slow walkers (not necessarily wheelchair-users) are currently the largest segment of the disabled population (according to the US census) and are expected to increase with the aging of baby boomers.

Candy Harrington
Editor, Emerging Horizons
http://www.EmergingHorizons.com -- the only magazine about accessible travel
Read my blog -- www.emergingHorizons.com/blog
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Ok, sorry for the misunderstanding! And I'm glad you're cheery! Me too!

Jennifer
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old June 17th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

You all keep talking about HA cabins being "bigger cabins". Maybe I've been on the wrong cruise ships but our HA cabins have never been "bigger" than any other cabin in the same class. The only thing that made them HA is that the doorway is 2.5" wider allowing my powerchair to egress easily and the Shower which had no step to enter. Other than that the cabin was exactly the same as our neighbors. Can someone enlighten me as to which ships have bigger HA cabins? I'll book my next cruise on one!

Thanks,
Ron

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  #46 (permalink)  
Old June 17th, 2005, 10:34 PM
Candy Harrington
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Most of the newly built ships for the US market have very large (larger than standard ) accessible cabins. Not true of retrofitted ships or those not in a primary US market. What ships have you been on? i can guarantee you i've been on a lot of the new ones and they most certainly have larger square footage accesible cabins.


Candy Harrington
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http://www.EmergingHorizons.com -- the only magazine about accessible travel
Read my blog -- www.BarrierFreeTravels.com
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I have a migraine disorder which can cause me to pass out. I know beforehand when it will happen, but still am scared to death when the spells come on. I am only 21 years old, and I have handicapped plates on my car due to this illness. My mother has had six spine operations and walks with a cane, and uses a wheelchair as needed for long distance walking. We will be bringing this on the cruise with us. We have a handicapped cabin. This is our first cruise and we are crusing with RCCL. When we booked the cabing they did not ask us to send a note from our doctors and our travel agent said that we did not need one. Do you think I should still get a note from her doctors just to be on the safe side?
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I think you'll be okay, first timer. Be sure and have your travel agent tell RCCL that you are bringing a wheelchair.
Have a wonderful cruise!
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old June 18th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Candy -

I've been on some old Commodore Ship (don't remember the name now but it was very old). Recently I've been on the Carnival Sensation and the Paradise three times. I will be on the NCL Monarch of the Seas in August but was unable to get a HA cabin so we'll have to park the p-chair in the hallway overnight and run an extension cord into the cabin. We specifically picked a cabin at the end of a long hallway that ends with a wall and no through traffic. Hopefully we won't have a problem with staff. I've already notified them that I plan to plug in overnight and they said it shouldn't be a problem.

Ron

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Old June 18th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

If they didn't require it to get the room, you won't need other verification. Hope you have a great time! I know we always have :0)
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I just read on the Cruise Critics Disabled Cruisers forum that RCI is no longer requiring any type of verification of disability to book an accessible room. This means all those ABs who lied to get these rooms, making them unavailable to those with a true disability can now book those rooms with impunity. I don't think we will be cruising with RCI again anytime soon.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Candy Harrington
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Actually all the cruise lines have that "unofficial" policy/exclusion re: their top agents. It depends who "you are" (travel-agent wise) if you get that cabin. If you are top seller you do, no questions or documentation needed. So itís not fair to single out RCI. And itís really not fair to require disabled passengers to have a doctor's note -- thatís an added cost.

Candy Harrington
Editor, Emerging Horizons
http://www.EmergingHorizons.com -- the only magazine about accessible travel
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Old June 21st, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

I just booked a handicapped room on a RCI ship and HAD to send a doctor's note to my TA so they could send it to the ship. My mom happens to have arthritis real bad, plus other ailments. She can walk but still needs a wheelchair because she tires so easily. I also had to send a letter from the doctor to the cruiseline stating she will be bringing needles on board.

Haven't been on the RCI, but I hope you don't book just because of that.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Dee Dee - did you also know that once you have submitted the letter from your doctor about handicapped cabin needs, Royal Caribbean keeps it on file? We found that out earlier this year. We needed a handicapped room 2 years ago. When we booked another cabin this past year,and requested a handicapped cabin, they told us they had our letter on file from our doctor and we didn't need to submit another one! Now this year we booked Carnival and I called the special needs rep and they didn't ask for a letter. you never know.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 10:26 PM
Kimber
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins


Ron,

You must tell me how you were able to keep your scooter in the hallway and run the extention cord in to charge it. I was just on the phone to RCL because I had hoped to book a cruise on Monarch of the Sea for a Jan. 06 sailing. Not only were BOTH (yes there are only 2 HP cabins on the entire ship) I was told that it was against the law to allow me leave the scooter in the hall.

The representative told me the scooter had to be in the room with us and that there were no cabins big enough for 2 people, our luggage and the scooter. He also indicated it might not even be possible to lift the scooter over the bottom of the doorjam or that the door would be wide enough to allow us to bring the scooter in the cabin.

Needless to say I was very upset by this turn of events. I could try and go without my scooter but on my good days I can only stand or walk for 3-7 minutes. I can't even stand long enough to take a shower. I'd hate to spend all that money (I'm on a fixed income) and end up spending my cruise locked up in my cabin....alone.

Another subject I haven't seen discussed before is the accessability of things like the swimming pools. All the photos I have seen of the pools they have only ladders to get in and out of the pools. Do they have stairs with handrails? Lifts???

Kimber
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Vladimir D.
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Hi Kimber,
In our experience, (my wife is an amputee), there are Lines and newer vessels that have
better accessibility in most areas. I am saing "most" because to my knowledge, there are
problems with the deck with swimming pools. There are railings to hold on to, but there are either steps down to the pool area, or more steps up- to the hot tubs. At times it is impossible even to navigate the WC, because many move their lounge chairs and block the isles.
As for your comment, RE scooter, we have given up on my wife's scooter and only use a foldable WC. I plan our cruises, obviously by destination, first, BUT then I search through
ships' deck plan, where is the best location for the HP room and call the Line if it is available. Only then will I book the cruise. There are a few "sister" ships, example our
previous cruise on Celebrity Summit - I've booked the same ## cabin on Celebrity Millenium for our next cruise, March 12, next year. So, I know what is in store for us ahead of the cruise.. Scooters, I've found are OK at home and for the shopping, but Airlines are not "scooterfriendly", and once you are on the ship, they will not let you on shore with your scooter, not to mantion, where to store it in your cabin.
Kind regards,
Vladimir
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:58 PM
KLD KLD is offline
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Virtually all the cruise ship lines have either always had a policy against scooters or wheelchairs in the hallways, or have recently changed their policy. It is a fire hazard, and for those who use a wheelchair full time, your scooter blocks our way in the halls. If you need a mobility device, then you need to get an accessible cabin that will accomodate your equipment needs. You can ask if they have a non-hallway area near your cabin where you can store and charge your scooter...someone may have to go get it for you in the AM. Some ships can accomodate this.

Monarach of the Seas is now considered an old ship, and older ships are less accessible with fewer accessible cabins. It is common to have to book accessible cabins 9-12 months in advance.

Some ships have pool lifts. Look at RCL's newer ships, and some of the newer Princess ships. Otherwise most are totally non-accessible unless someone can pick you up in their arms and lift you in and out of the pool.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Kimber, et al

You asked that I write and tell you about my experience on the Monarch of the Seas regarding my power wheelchair in the hallway.

We arrived back home on Friday morning so I thought now would be a good time to tell you that I had NO PROBLEM leaving my power wheelchair in the hallyway overnight and running an extension cord under the door to plug it in. Please be aware though that we were in cabin #4098. I specifically picked this cabin after looking at the ship's layout because it is at the end of a dead-end hallway. There is NO through traffic and no crew access doors where I parked the chair. You can look at the ship's layout on their website and see where your cabin is located. If it is anywhere in a hallway where there will be through traffic they WILL NOT allow you to leave it in the hallway.

As far as being able to get the chair through a doorway, there is no way to get my chair through a doorway that isn't wide enough to accommodate it. However, if you have a 3 or 4 wheel scooter with a removable seat you can rotate the scooter on it's side and shove it through most any doorway. We had to do this on our last cruise because we were unable to get a room at the end of a hallway nor were we able to get an HA room. My only choice was to remove the seat every night and turn the scooter on it's side and my wife and son pushed it through the door.

As far as the Monarch of the Seas goes, the standard cabins (ours) are NOT big enough for two people and luggage much less big enough for an added power chair. We also brought my manual chair for emergency and our cabin was barely large enough to fit it (folded up) with our luggage.

The pools on this ship are tiny and have no handicap assisted entrance. Ladders only. I'm not fond of extremely crowded pools full of {peeing} children and I'm not fond of cold water anyway so this wasn't an issue for me. If you want to go into the pool you'll have to have someone help you. I found that the crew were always at the ready to help me with anything I needed help with and I'm sure they would have been more than happy to help me into the pool.

A few things to be aware of on the Monarch of the Seas for wheelchair-bound folk .........

** If you are in a wheelchair you are not permitted to use the Library or Gaming area. Apparantly handicapped people can't play games or read books because the egress to this area is only via a very steep staircase.

** If you are in a wheelchair and want Pizza, you'll have to travel all the way from one end of the ship, go up an elevator and return all the way back to the other end of the ship. You see, the Pizza bar is located directly above the Windjammer Cafe. You can see it up the STAIRS, but you can't get there without going all the way back to the other end of the ship and taking an elevator up one level and then coming all the way back to the other end.

** If you want to buy something from any of the onboard stores there is only one pair of itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie elevators wheelchair folks can use to get to the level where the stores are located. The two Atrium elevators are the only ones that stop on that level. All other egress to the shops area is via STAIRS. The atrium elevators were just wide enough for my power wheelcahir and deep enough for my chair and 3 (normal sized) people. And of course these glass elevators are the most popular because they are the kids' favorite toy. My suggestion - Grab one going up or down no matter which direction you {really} want to go. If there's room on it - TAKE IT! It'll eventually get you where you want to go!

All in all we had a pretty good time. The ship is nice and clean and the food was adequate. I won't cruise this ship again and probably won't cruise RCI again due to the crappy layout of the ship as stated above. I've cruised the Carnival Paradise 3 times prior and it is a WONDERFUL ship with no wheelchair associated problems. I'm sure there are other ships with more wheelchair-friendly intelligent layouts.

Hope this helps you out!

Ron

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  #59 (permalink)  
Old September 4th, 2005, 10:25 AM
Candy Harrington
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Default Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

The Monarch is an old and retrofitted ship, and access on board it is not indicitive of the other ships in the RCI fleet. The newer ships offer excellent access.

Candy Harrington
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Old September 4th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Candy,

As you can imagine, I'm not willing to "hit 'n miss" with my $2,000. As you are more familiar with the other RCI ships, please list the ones you have personal experience on that have layouts that do not require the wheelchair bound to climb stairs for any of the "ship's features".

Thanks in advance!

Ron

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